It is common to think that we know a little bit when it comes to shopping for fashions, especially when buying clothes for ourselves.
We enter a modern fashion store, see the clothes all laid out on non cluttered racks, sized in order, stacked nicely and a well put together assistant dressed in the current trendy outfit ready to help with any questions and take our clothes to the change rooms.
Perfect right? No arguing there.
But then you get courageous and dabble in a little op shopping, only to take one step through the door and feel instantly overwhelmed at the row upon row of over stacked clothes and cluttered bric-a-bac in every available space. You think that’s it, I’m out! And leave practically running for the closest coffee shop or bar for a drink to de-stress.
Well how about if I told you that I could change that entire situation for you quicker that your can say I LOVE TO OP SHOP?
We have compiled a list of 13 tips to lift any tattered confidence to get you op shopping like a pro.
Know where your Op shops are: If you are like me and don’t have enough time in the day this will be key to maximizing the number of op shops you can visit. I like to sit down before I go out and map out all of the op shops I want to visit that day, that way when I am ready to head out I know exactly which place I am going to and in what order.
Go Often: The more times you go the more likely you are going to strike GOLD. Simple.
Have a cheeky shop when on vacation: This is always a favorite as you tend to be alot more relaxed whilst on vacation as you have deadlines to meet, not timings to keep and have a lower expectation of what you might find. Have you read our blog on how to op shop like a pro whilst on vacation?
Do your research: This trick I picked up from my husband who researches everything and anything for weeks on end before he purchases anything (annoying right?). Now I am not saying you need to be this extreme but research is key to knowing your favorite designer brands, trends and styles of a certain decade. Need inspiration check out our PINTEREST account.
Know your wardrobe: No one likes to go shopping and then wonder if you already have that certain bit of clothing already. So this is just another key step in doing your research and preparation.
Know your style: This one might be a little harder for some people (certainly is a tricky one for me) as not all of us know what our style is or change our style often. Know what you don’t like and take note of colours you wear and types of accessories you own.
Know your size and shape: This is key when trawling the rack and can save you a lot of time when trying on clothing. If you do not have the time or patience to try on a basket full of clothes then look for the brands that you already own and know will fit you. Knowing your size and shape is key when shopping for vintage clothing as sizing’s can vary.
Go in with an open mind: Like anything that feels uncomfortable and new the more open minded you are and lower your expectations are, the more you are willing to see opportunities in things.
Be creative: Op shopping is a fun and inexpensive way of having fun with fashion and your own creative style. So seize the day and explore, learn and enjoy the moment.
Check out the entire store, not just your section: As donations are often sorted by volunteers sometimes clothing are found on different racks. I once found a rad 80’s vintage tee in the children’s section, so check out all the racks for fashions and every shelf for treasures. You never know what you might find and where.
Try clothes on where possible: Not always essential but if you have the time and not 100% on whether it will fit then it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Think up-cycle: I love this concept as it takes sustainable living to a whole other level. Materials from clothing can be up-cycled into children’s clothing or burb clothes, Fabrics can be recycled into cushions, tea cups can be reused as eco soy tea cup candles. Use your imagination and get creative. If you are looking for a bit of inspiration check out our ETSY store.
Give back: I am a big believer in good karma and sustainable living, so when it comes time for a spring clean donate your items to your local op shop.
So there you have it our top 13 tips to get any beginner op shopping like the pros. This is not a hard and fast rule type list but more of a sharing of knowledge from our own years of op shopping experience designed to simply enhance your next shopping trip. Your own experience and determination to find that special item will shape the type of shopper you become, and that is all part of the journey.
If you have any great op shopping experiences or tips please share them in the comments below.